Lake Windermere

Lake Windermere

Tuesday, 23 December 2014


Greetings to all my loyal followers. Our annual Christmas party will be in the usual phone box.

I am building my mileage back up at the moment so I am doing a lot more pool work in preparation for my Gibraltar swim in April, but fear not I have not abandoned my beloved river. Pools are horrible but it has to be done.

Hope you all enjoy the holiday season. Onwards and upwards for 2015.

We are having a competition at the moment to name as many bands and artists from the 70s and 80s that are better than the rubbish about today. We are up to hundreds!

Sunday, 7 December 2014


If anyone sees my boys' bits please post them back to me as I swam in the river this morning in 6C water and it felt like everything fell off.

To add to the fun it was windy and raining when I got out all adding to the fun. A shiver fest of top proportions only alleviated by the wonderful bacon and eggs at the Old Barn afterwards.

A little cold and rain won't stop me as I am going to swim right through the year. If my Gibraltar crossing is confirmed I will be swimming that in the first week of April so I will need to get the miles in in the new year.

Christmas is coming, hurrah!

Sunday, 30 November 2014


Just kidding environment agency!

This week the river has been unswimmable as all the lock gates have been opened along the river to let the flood waters through.

For the first time ever this week I got to the river and didn't get in as the water was the highest and fastest that I have seen it. Hardy not foolhardy.

Swimming pools just aren't the same! The school pool this week was 30C, total meltdown!

I am in the process of finalising my 2015 swims so will keep you updated ASAP.

Lovely Natalie has had a baby boy. Congrats to her and to Rob.

Thursday, 20 November 2014


Had a really trickily ( a Tabby invented word ) swim today as the river was very high, brown and the fastest that I have seen it for a while.

For fleeting seconds I was in 2 minds whether I would swim but I plunged in and swam for 40 minutes against a fast cold current. On the way back I qualified for the 10k at the Rio Olympics as I got back in 16 minutes and broke several world records. Was that me or the river, definitely me.

All Blacks vs Wales this week, is there anyone alive that saw Wales last beat the ABs?

Got Cold Chisel in the car at the moment. Legends.

Sunday, 9 November 2014


Hurrah 😀 the ice is back!

On Thursday I had to scrape the ice off the car, well actually I use warm water, much faster, no cracked windscreen yet, and later that morning had a refreshing swim in the river.😁.

The water was just on11C with an air temperature of 10C. The water was beautiful but I did get the shivers trying to pour my Green Tea in the Old Barn afterwards.

Off again tomorrow for another swim but with all the rain this weekend it will be testing.
Will Owens is looking to swim as well, listen out for the screams as he hits the water around 11 00!
Gutsy boy!😝.

This is the next day's follow up. Will did nearly 30 minutes in the river with me today. Great effort, 60 million other people in this country couldn't have done that!

I will swim with him again in 2 weeks as by then my ears should have recovered from all the squealing.

AC/DC let's play ball.

Sunday, 26 October 2014


Well dear reader now the world turns!

After years of trying to get a slot to swim across the Straits of Gibraltar I have finally been given a slot for the first week of April 2015.

A bit early in the season but this may be the only opening I get as this swim is now part of the Oceans 7 swim series and is highly sort after. The water should be around 15-16C so very doable.

I have had some character building river swims this week as Hurricane Gonzalo did play havoc with the foliage on the bank. On Thursday I was faced with an armada of leaves and sticks in the water but hey, what's a few whacks around the kisser by spiked leaves and branches.

I am off to the river today before heading back to school tonight. I am not going to let work spoil a weekend sent from heaven.

Lizzie and I had a great day in Aldeburgh
The Kiwi beat the Kangaroos
The Saints beat the Ospreys
Leicester lost to the Scarlets. Ha Ha Ha

Monday, 13 October 2014


Hurrah for Colin Ashworth!

As you will see my You Tube clip has now found a permanent home on my page. This is down to my esteemed colleague Colin Ashworth who kindly set it up for me this morning. If he was in a sauna he would just be my steamed colleague.

I have hit the river again this week. Yesterday the water was 12C with an air temperature of 11C.
It really was a case of warmer in than out. For the first time since April I got the shivers as I tried to drink my Green Tea at the Old Barn. Mind you we were sitting outside and I was still in my shorts and jandals ( look it up if you are not from NZ ) having just had an hour swimming in the river.

Great news. AC/DC have a new album out in December. Chrissy pressie number 1 sorted.

Thursday, 28 August 2014


As you can see dear reader that I am just amending the blog of 28 August in order to keep the You Tube clip of my Alderney to France swim at the top of the page. Greater minds than I have tried without success to move it to the side. One day this may happen. I shall ask a child to do it.

The start of October has seen balmy days so the Nene has maintained a steady 16/17C. The weather looks like cooling now but fear not, I shall still dip my toes and swim as long as I can in the river.

The big problem last winter was not the temperature, but the height and speed of the river as the winter rains made it dangerous to swim. I am hardy, not foolhardy!

I am planning my 2015 campaign at the moment. Looking at round Jersey and hopefully one other big swim. I will keep you posted.

Just received Blackberry Smoke live. Fanbloody tactic! Southern rock lives on.

The swimming season is rapidly drawing to a close with shorter, cooler days.
I am still getting into the river a couple of times a week and the water is still a very pleasant 17C.

Yesterday I had a great swim with 24C air, just lovely! I intend to swim all winter so hopefully we won't have all the rain that fell last year as the river then was the highest and fastest that I have seen.

Despite mentally retiring in the middle of my Alderney to France swim, I am now looking at swims for 2015. I have a slot for a 44 mile Round Jersey swim but this slot may be taken by one of the many swimmers that had their swim blown out this year and will be resheduled next year.

Rest assured, I will do something long and hard and I really fancy a warmer water swim somewhere in the world. Keep buying the Lottery tickets!

Elton John's High Flying Bird. How good is that!


Well dear reader, it has been a hectic 10 days since my historic aurigny Alderney to France swim.

As well as appearing on ITV, I have been on 3 BBC stations and have had a ridiculous amount of coverage in local, national and international press.

This was a very tough swim as the Race of Alderney was very challenging and never let me get into a settled rhythm. The tidal movement was immense and took me way around the top of the Cap de la Hague landing me on the northern coast of the peninsula.

As you can see from the You Tube clip above, my landing lacked a certain amount of elegance! Just as I was approaching the coast the tide changed and started to take me back out to sea. I had to fight the tide to land and the beach had rough boulders under the water. There was nowhere to put my feet, hence my Frosby Flop onto the shore.

The fun didn't finish there as the RIB that was picking me up to take me back to the pilot boat couldn't get in through the tide flowing over the rocks. I had to climb off the beach, walk over a track over a headland and climb down to the next beach where the RIB could get in. All in my swimmers, cap and goggles at 7 45 in the evening. Luckily there were no locals to be seen as they must have run off as I emerged from the deep!

Many thanks to everyone in Alderney for making us all feel so welcome.
aurigny  for all your support.
Bugsy, Roland, Paul, Holly, Tim, Diana. Stephen and Lucy you were all wonderful.

Back to the real world now, school is open, Kate, Tabby and Phoebe have gone home and Lizzie has gone with them for the week.

Got The Best of Pink Floyd. Never been much of a fan but I am actually enjoying it!

Sunday, 24 August 2014


I am happy to report that I succeeded in crossing the Enlish Channel from Alderney to France in a time of 6 hours 27 minutes.
This makes me the only person to have swum to France from 2 different Channel Islands

I will put a full report of the swim on here soon but check these newsreports out first!

Teacher completes second Channel swim

David Coleman David Coleman has swum the English Channel four times

A man from Northamptonshire has become the first person to swim from two of the Channel Islands to France.
David Coleman, who was born in New Zealand but now teaches at a private school in England, had already swam from Jersey to France in 2013.
He completed the 13 mile (21km) swim from Alderney to France on 21 August in 6 hours and 27 minutes.
He said: "It felt like I was in a washing machine a lot, other times I didn't feel like I was moving at all."
He completed the Jersey to France swim in July 2013 in 9 hours and 18 minutes.
'Going backwards' Mr Coleman said the tides were a major issue from him on the Alderney swim and at one point was going backwards.
"I think the water was 16 or 17 [degrees], I swam without a wetsuit and didn't notice the water temperature being cold or warm. It certainly wasn't warm but it was perfect for me.
"As we got 100m from the beach in France the tide changed and instead of being swept in I found myself going backwards across the tide. I had to swim diagonally across it, which put another 20 minutes on it.
"It was a horrible feeling, it was one of the worst feelings I've had on any of my swims. I was so close, I was 60 strokes away and I was going backwards, back out to sea."
Mr Coleman added that he does not expect to swim the English Channel again as he has done it four times.

Monday, 18 August 2014


My aurigny  Alderney to France swim is on for this week.

At the moment the wind looks manageable although the air and water temperatures will probably be on the cool side.

My girls are looking forward to their mini break and can't wait to see their Koro swim off into the distance so they can have the day to themselves. True love.

I have had a lot of media interest so I will update links as articles are published. See my last post for the last week's effort.

See ya when I see ya.

Thursday, 14 August 2014


I know that you have had trouble sleeping at night waiting for the link for the newspaper article about my

aurigny Alderney to France swim. Here is the link.

Friday, 8 August 2014


As Andy said I am having my 15 minutes of fame this week as I am featured in the local paper, The Evening Telegraph. I imagine you could look up the article online, I haven't worked that out yet.

Countdown now to my aurigny Alderney to France swim on the 21st of August. I am enjoying my last peaceful training swims in the river before I hit the Channel again. Can't wait as I am ready to go.

Doug, Kate, Tabitha and Phoebe have been here since last week. Poor Doug could only stay a week before heading back to work, but the girls are here until September. Kate has been swimming with me and Tabby has also been in the river. She finds it a bit cold so she needs to harden up if she is to develop into a long distance swimmer like her Koro. She has plenty of time as she is only 2.

Hope you like the new photos on my site and the AURIGNY logo. This is thanks to Doug. It's all magic to me.

Nickelback on Planet Rock at the moment. Photograph. Great rock!

Friday, 25 July 2014


After the rigours of the English Channel it is wonderful to be back in the peace and serenity of the mighty River Nene.

This morning I did 3 hours and was accompanied by a Heron and later on, 2 Red Kites that circled me for half an hour. Now I know that Kites feed on carrion and that I am very old, but I'm sure that I wasn't going that slowly! Perhaps I was. Anyway, they got bored and flew off.

Building up now to my aurigny ALDERNEY to FRANCE swim on the 21st of August.
This is a tough assignment as the infamous RACE of ALDERNEY will make this like swimming in a  spin drier. I have swum the Hellespont with its 9 knot current so it won't be a totally new experience.

Had a mid life crisis this week and started jogging again. Nothing much mind you. I am talking 10 laps of the local cricket field. Talk about a sweat fest! Knees have survived so far but I am looking to up my fitness levels as I am now planning more testing and difficult swims for 2015.

Kate, Doug, Tabby and Phoebe are over from the USA next week. Can't wait. All breakables have been put on the top shelves. That because of the toddlers, not because Kate and Doug are clumsy, well not Doug anyway!

Listening to the Best of Rock in the car at the moment. Magic.

Friday, 18 July 2014


I am home now after my swim with the ON PORPOISE DIABETES UK Channel swimming team.

The Channel crossing took 16 hours and 6 minutes in challenging conditions. The very high spring tide took the swimmers way north and at one point it was thought by the pilot that the landing would be in Holland! That would have been cool. Not many people have swum there!

Although the winds did not drop as predicted, the mighty currents eventually had all swimmers back on course and we all landed around the Calais/Sangette region. It was a great feeling to climb out on the rocks at the base of the cliff.

2 more stones down my swimmers for my collection. Hold on, that doesn't read well! You know what I mean.

I have had one day off, and now I am heading back to my beloved Nene today to swim out the shoulders for a couple of hours. Lovely smooth water.

Alderney to France is now 4 weeks away so upwards and onwards.

I listened to the golf and cricket on the way home from Dover yesterday and one commentator said that in a press conference in Liverpool that most of the American golfers couldn't name any of the Beatles.
Easy, Dung Beetle, VW Beetle, Beetlenut and Scarab Beetle.

Monday, 14 July 2014


Great news dear reader, the weather is starting to calm and I'm off to Dover to jump in the Channel tomorrow.

It may be a midnight start Tuesday so I expect all of you to stay awake all night tracking me. If it is not midnight it will be early Wednesday.

To follow the tracker the easiest way is to google Mike Oram CSPF and click on his tracker for GALLIVANT.

If the boat shows that it is still in Dover, then so am I! You will see the track once we are into the Channel.

Excited, and I still have the aurigny ALDERNEY to FRANCE SWIM to come in August.

Happy days. Keep rocking.

Friday, 11 July 2014


Well here I am sitting longingly at home waiting for the wind to drop.
I have reckoned that this is the third whole week of my life waiting for the wind to abate so I can get in the Channel.
The weather/wind forecast is for rubbish until Tuesday so my pilot has pencilled in Tuesday/Wednesday for the swim. I have fitted in 3 good swims in the river so I am the proverbial coiled spring.
Here's hoping!

If you have a spare 14 hours here is the tracking link.

You need to click onto GALLIVANT to follow the course.

More news as it happens! It really is a long way to the top.

Thursday, 3 July 2014


I have pleasure in announcing that I will be swimming the English Channel from Alderney to France on the 21st of August. Exciting times!

This is in association with AURIGNY the local airline and will raise money for DIABETES UK.

This is a very challenging swim as the Channel at this point has the infamous Race of Alderney which has it's own site on You Tube. ( link to follow, I can't work out how to do it on my I pad!)

I will be the first person ever to swim to France from 2 different Channel Islands.

I will include more details as they develop.

Met a great bunch of people at the river today, so G'day to
Chris, Louise, Paul C, Paul B, Alan and Derek.
I hope you didn't get too much of a shock as the monster Kiwi boy emerged from the deep!

Don' forget that Rock and Roll will save us all!

Monday, 23 June 2014


Lizzie and I went to Aldeburgh on the weekend. Great day to pick as it was festival day and there was not a single parking space closer than the Martello Tower end of the beach.

No matter, I jumped in and had a really good swim. I read last night that people in my home town of Auckland had a mid winter swim in the harbour and the water was a "numbing" 16C. Well I have news for you kids. The MID SUMMER temperature in the North Sea yesterday was 16C. Toughen up.

No Jellyfish at all, hurrah!

Swam today with William Owens in the river. He is 12 wants to swim the channel when he is 16. This was his first swim in open water and he did really well. One more of us, one less of them.

I am organising a record breaking swim in August. Still secret squirrel so details to follow.

Led Zep month continues on Planet Rock. It's like a stairway to heaven.

Sunday, 15 June 2014


I am now home safe and sound from my week in West Wales with 36 children.
We had fantastic weather and we are all now a different colour from when we left Maidwell. Of course I have gone Kiwi brown whilst most of the children are now Pommy pink!

I managed to get 2 really long swims in at Whitesands beach, good to get back in the sea water. The water was 14C so getting more pleasant. My swim team was at Dover this weekend so I am pleased that they got better conditions than last month.

I am in the process of organising a unique, challenging swim for August but it needs to be secret squirrel at the moment as I don't want anyone else to don't before me. Details to follow!

One month now to the Channel. Feeling good and looking for a good crossing.
DIABETES raffle tickets still available!

Led Zep month in Planet Rock. Doesn't get better than that. Well perhaps Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Sunday, 1 June 2014


Go marching in, oh when the Saints go marching in.......................... Championies, championies........
What a day at Twickenham, what a result. If you are going to win a Grand Final in front of 85,000 wait until the very last second, EASY! I have never heard a crowd as loud as the noise that went up when the ref signalled T R Y time.
Swimming this week has been indoors as the rain in Spain moved here permanently for the week. The river was MENTAL, totally unswimmable after 4 days of continuous rain. I had 5 big swims in the pool but not quite what I planned for half term.
With the countdown to the Channel in July I had planned 10 hours of cold water so I will need to get up to the river plenty of times in the coming weeks.
Don't forget my DIABETES raffle tickets, they are going fast. Contact me if you would like to buy one and have a chance to win a case of Champagne.
G'luck to the guys and gals doing CE this week.
Remember, meat should be thick, music should be loud.

Friday, 23 May 2014


Great name for my DIABETES UK Channel Relay team swim on the week beginning 11 July.

We have a team of 5 for this daunting challenge but every swimmer is up for it and with Mike Oram as pilot I expect to get across the Channel in a pretty good time.
We have an international team, 2 swimmers from the Netherlands, 1 from Ireland with only 1 other British based swimmer so it will be hard to get together too much before the actual swim.

I am selling raffle tickets to raise money for DIABETES UK. There are 145 tickets at £10 each. The prize is a case of Champagne. Please let me know if you would like some! Tickets that is, I am not sending out free Champagne.

Half term this week, plenty of cold water in the river and over in the North Sea.

As Frank said, Who'd thought that rock and roll would save us all.

Monday, 12 May 2014


I am now back home safely after a fantastic training weekend in Dover in preparation for the DIABETES UK Channel relay in July.

After the river, the water was surprisingly warmer, although the conditions were pretty windy, choppy and downright yucky. ( spelling gizmo on the I pad comes up with interesting variations for yucky) We had 3 good swims although I have 3 lovely fingernail gouges on my chest after a midwater meeting!

Met some great people. Kia Ora to Lottie, Sally, Ian and Crispin. Thanks for your great company and loads'a laughs. I hope to see you in June.

I have some new fundraising ideas, so you, yes you, I'm coming for your money!

Don' forget to keep rocking the Kasbah.

Friday, 2 May 2014

Brown, Cold and Lovely

I am back into full swing in the mighty Nene.

Every week the water gets a little cleaner, yesterday I could actually see my hand in the water. The river was about 8C and I did a good hour. The first 5 minutes are like being stabbed by knives, then your face goes numb like you have had 10 injections at the dentist. Then, magically I settle in the water and don't notice the cold at all. This fat is not just for decoration!

Gave the Wadenhoe ladies a thrill yesterday as they emerged into the car park after aerobics. The sight of Koro about to enter the water will live with them forever. Lucky girls.

The best part about the Wadenhoe swims is the bacon roll and pot of green tea after at the Old Barn in the village. Classy. Highly recommend it.

Lots of school this weekend, no Bank holiday for us.

If you rock, don't forget to roll.

Monday, 21 April 2014


After 3 weeks training in the United States I am now back in the embracing hold of the mighty Nene. This week it has hit 8C and still a bit murky from the rain.

Back to school this week so back to squeezing in swims between field work, cricket, school and sleeping. In 2 weeks I am off to Dover to meet the Diabetes team in preparation for our 10 July Channel swim. Really looking forward to it and I'm feeling fit as!

Hoped you enjoyed the Channel photos, there is supposed to be a DVD on the way if I can figure out how to get it on this blog.

Right into Blackberry Smoke at the moment. check it out. It is a band, not an illicit substance!

Friday, 14 March 2014


This week I gave to talk to the children at school about my Channel exploits, that in itself is hardly world news although I suppose learning how to go to the loo without stopping swimming may be mildly interesting. Answer. You just go for it, you can't stop!

Anyway I digress. One benefit of this is that our lovely gappie Imogen is going to put all my Channel photos here for you. Plenty of atmospheric sunrises, ships etc. watch this space.

Training is still ploughing on. I confess that I am enjoying the gym, one day it may even make me fit. Not long to the river. Lizzie and I checked it out last week. Still very fast and cloudy. My first Dover training swim is at the beginning of May so I do need to hit the cold again.

What did I do before Planet Rock?

Friday, 21 February 2014


Lizzie and I have just returned from a few days in Iceland. Wow, what a great place.

We saw the Northern Lights every night and if you get a chance to do this, GO, as it is one of the most amazing things that you will ever see. Our photos are rubbish so if you want to see the lights look up the magic inter web.

We also went whale watching but must have got on the wrong boat as our boat turned into a seagull watching trip as there weren't any whales or dolphins in sight. The seagulls were pretty boring as they just sat there. They could have mated or something but it was probably too cold.

We had a great afternoon at the thermal pools, wind chill -12, 40C in the water, just magical. The pools also had 2 x 50 metre pools so I took the chance to put in a few Ks,  my northern most swim ever. Not quite the Arctic Circle but pretty close.

Had my swim medical today. Fit as a buck rat. I was asked to donate my body to science but I would rather wait until I am dead.

Led Zep are huge in Iceland. I come from the land of ice and snow................

Monday, 27 January 2014


Well the New Year seems long, long ago and so the count down to my Channel date begins. It was a bit comforting to say that I was in the Channel "next year", now it is just over 6 months!

I have really powered up the training, gym and pool. I have never used gym work along side the pool before and I am really enjoying it. I am amazed how much more I can can do in the gym in just 3 weeks. I am now back into the grind of 3 hour swim sessions. Today I did both pool and gym. Parents night tonight. I will try and stay awake.

The river calls, but it is really, really high at the moment and too dangerous, even for me.

Good to see Lorde got a couple of Grammies. She comes from my part of Auckland. A local girl done good. Besides myself, she is the only other person that I've seen that suits black lipstick.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014


Now I know dear reader that you have been holding your breath waiting to see which rock song topped the 1000 best songs of all time. The results have been announced.

1 Sweet Home Alabama
2 Stairway to Heaven
3 Hotel California.

There you go. Can't argue with that.

Now back to boring things like swimming. Actually I have joined the gym to do CV work. Loving it, all that sweat and lycra and that is only me! Gearing up now for my Channel relay and back into the pool to do the hard work.

Yesterday I saw 2 otters in the river at Market Harborough. It was one of the most amazing things that I have seen and I watched them play and feed for 30 minutes. I am easily pleased.

Friday, 3 January 2014


Happy New Year dear readers.

What a year 2013 was. Two Channel swims and well over 1 million metres covered in training. Now onto 2014!

This year I am swimming the Channel again, this time as part of a relay for Diabetes U. K. The swim is booked for the week of 11-18 July. I still have Alcatraz on the books but that depends on time and money!

I have just returned from the U S A where I started my training for this year. I have banged on before about the facilities over there so I won't repeat myself, but I am so impressed with what the pools over there offer. It is so nice to swim without having to dodge children and old people!

I have the 4 Hills ski jumping on at the moment. How do you learn to do that? Surely they just don't get up and jump off. I have never seen small ski jumps in Europe, just the giant ones!

Washington 100.3 FM have been playing the top 1000 rock songs of all time. I can't get it over here. Can someone let me know the number 1 song.


Setting off. 7am. Only 13 and a half hours to go!